Do not think it is easy

Musicians are all too often seen under the wrong light. The general population sees us as talented, and lazy. I want to talk about the laziness.

I have never met a lazy working musician. We all have this common trait: we don’t count the hours we spend at work. Now, I know that our work is also our pleasure. The line between the two is very blurry. That is why so many musicians do not have a hobby (That’s not good! But I’ll talk about that in another blog).

And it is not because musician dress funky or in an unusual way that they have to be considered buffoons. What those weird and flamboyant clothes means is that we take our job as entertainers very seriously.

Case in point. David Lee Roth, famous singer for Van Halen, was saying in an interview, that every member of that band had spent 30,000 hours on his craft before they were famous. The costume were coming from a novelty store in L.A. Yes, 30,000 hours. I believe it. In an another interview, but of Eddie Van Halen this time, the famed master of guitar confessed that he was obsessed with his instrument. He not only never stopped practicing, he also experimented with its sounds and electric machinery. He became so good at it that the great inventor Les Paul placed Eddie as one of the true innovator in the guitar sounds.

I’ll give you another for instance.

A friend of mine was renting a space at one of these big boxes of rehearsal spaces you get in a big city like Chicago. He was on the same floor as The Smashing Pumpkins when they were preparing their reunion tour. He told me that every morning at 9 am he would see them arrive and that they would be rehearsing until 5 pm with a little break for lunch. Like that for six months.

Same deal for “The Police” reunion tour which is narrated by Stewart Copeland in his book “Strange things happen”. He writes that him and his two famous colleagues had to spend a lot of painful months working on songs that they had already created and played thousands of time before.

No laziness in that. If you want to be successful, you have to put in the hours.

That is why, but this is a side note, all musicians are nerds. They obsess over details that do not matter to the rest of the population. And taking care of details is nothing but work, work work. Do not think it is easy.